Chapter 10 : Getting Started
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AN: I’m sorry that this is not that long; I hit a road block in my mind towards the end. Please read and review, it really helps, and I hope that you like it!
Knowing that she had enough days left to do her list at a semi-leisurely pace, Hermione devised a plan. She began work on her long-term items and promised herself to do at least two each week, or at least to try to. She began writing her book, number nine on her list, and order hair-dye through a catalog so that she could fulfill number sixteen that week. The other long term ones that she began to work on were numbers fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve and ten. She went to the library and checked out a stack of books. The titles she chose were: Animagus 101, Basic German For Beginners, Learn The Piano, Crime And Punishment, Don Quixote and Pride And Prejudice. She planned to learn to be an animagus, speak German and play piano. The other three books were to get started on her list of classics to read before she died.
All of this only gave her a start on fourteen through twelve and ten. In order to start work on number fifteen she needed to speak to Draco Malfoy.
“What do you want Granger?” He sneared when she tapped him on the shoulder while he was reading in the Heads’ common room.
“I was wondering if we could begin to talk about the winter dance?”
“What about it? It’s formal; winter not Christmas, until ten for young and one for older. That sounds all figured out to me.” Hermione sighed, this was going to be a bit more difficult than she had thought.
“Yes, I remember that, but I had a new idea that I wanted to put past you.”
“Well go on then, talk.”
“I was thinking that maybe, instead of it just being a boring dance with formal attire, why not make it a masked ball?” She hurried to explain upon seeing Malfoy’s facial expression. “The students would be allowed to wear whatever formal attire they wanted, but they would have to wear a mask that hid their identities and dye their hair to hide that as well. For the younger students they would remove their masks at nine, giving them an hour of knowing who’s who, and for the older students they would remove their masks at midnight and have an hour of knowing who’s who.” She had thought up the hair dye thing on the spot, realizing that Malfoy would be recognizable by his hair alone. That meant that she could save her hair dye for the ball and do a different number on her list that week.
“Are you serious?” He asked her, looking nervous about the idea, probably dreading dying his hair.
“Yes, I like the idea. Please agree to it.” She did not know why she said please, probably her sub-conscience getting a start on number nineteen: befriend somebody you don’t like.
“Fine, but you have to talk to the prefects about it, it’s your idea.” Hermione nearly exploded with glee. One more thing that would be checked off of her list.
Hermione’s big number that she checked off that week was number five: Stay up all night to watch the sun set, look at the stars and watch the sun rise.
She had had late prefect meetings most days, arranging the ball, so she had to put it off until Friday, but she did it. She went up to the Astronomy Tower early enough to get to watch the sun set and spent the whole night looking at the stars. She found various constellations, including her favorite one, Orion’s Belt. She then watched the sun rise in the early hours of the morning before heading down to her dorm to get dressed for the day.
Draco had seen Hermione rush off after the last class of the day, seeming like she had somewhere to be. He went back to the dorms before dinner, but she was not there. He spent the evening in the dorms after dinner as well, but she never showed up. She was not in her room and her friends had already asked him if he knew where she was, so she obviously was not with them. He fell asleep on the couch, waking much too early.
He turned his head towards the portrait hole when he heard the sound that had woken him up. Hermione was walking in, still dressed in the same clothes as the day before.
“Who did you pull an all-nighter with Granger?” Draco asked, curious as to what the goody-goody had been doing out late.
“No one, I was just watching the sun and stars. What are you doing down here?” Again, she was not sure why she told him the truth, but she did. “It’s a Saturday, shouldn’t you be sleeping in?"
“I fell asleep down here last night, so you woke me up when you came in.” He did not saying it in an accusatory tone, just an observational one.
“I’m sorry.” Hermione half-whispered. “Excuse me.” She rushed up to her room, changed quickly, grabbed her three finished novels and headed out to the library.
“Where are you going now?” Draco said before she could leave.
“Library, I need to return these books and check out a few more.”
“What’s with the new book choices and sudden desire to read like a mad woman?”
“They’re classics.” Hermione explained. “They are books that everyone should read in their lifetime. I’m just getting a head start.”
This reply hit Draco like a slap in the face. It reminded him that the girl before him was dying and knew it. He felt a bit bad about being so nosey, but not that bad. “Knowing you, you will have read all the classics in a matter of weeks and will have nothing left for the rest of your lifetime.” Hermione’s face fell, thinking about her lack of a ‘rest of your lifetime’. Draco noticed her change in facial expression and mentally slapped himself in the forehead.
Draco had started acting a bit kinder to Hermione over the past few days. He felt bad that she was dying; even more so since she had obviously not told anyone about it. Hermione seemed suspicious about his behavior, but since befriending the enemy was on her list, she did not complain too much, he was just making it that much easier.
When the next Hogsmead weekend came, the ball had already been announced and girls were excited to buy their dresses. Hermione went to a little known dress shop to find the perfect gown. It was a cream, ivory color. It had a strapless scalloped neckline and a ball gown silhouette. It also has a chapel train and a dropping waistline. The fabric used in the gown was duchesse silk and it felt beautiful to Hermione when she put it on. The mask that she bought to go with it was also cream, but it had swirls of red that would match her hair once she dyed it. It was a small mask that barely covered her cheeks and came just down to cover the end of her nose. It was beautiful and charmed so that it would stay in place until she removed it. She did not purchase any shoes. She wanted to complete the Cinderella-style image that she was creating, so she made herself a pair of shoes. She transfigured a glass into shoes. The shoes were, or course, made of glass, but they had special spells on them to keep them from breaking and also to make them comfortable to wear. She thought the overall effect was quite nice.
When she had finished that, she decided that the ball was the perfect excuse to check off another or her items. She went to a special beauty shop.
“Hello miss” the shopkeeper greeted her. “What can I do for you today?”
“I would like to have my ears pierced.”
“Excellent. Just select the earrings that you wish to have in and I will do it for you in a jiffy. And special, just for lovely ladies like yourself, the piercing is free, you only have to pay for the earrings.”
Hermione selected a pair of long, dangly earrings that were made of glass, like her shoes, and were rather simple. After getting her ears pierced, she decided that her outfit needed two last finishing touches. True, it was not a costume ball, but she did not want to be herself all the same. She bought a few more glasses to transfigure her necklace and tiara. The necklace was also simple, a long chain with a hollow glass heart on the end. The tiara, to fit with the theme, was simple, made of clear and red glass. It was styled with swirl patterns similar to her mask and at the end of each swirl was a small red dot of glass, giving the piece color. It was absolutely stunning and Hermione could not wait for the ball.
AN: I’m very sorry, but I seem to be having issues writing this right now. I’m going to post it as is and hope to update again soon. Thanks and please review!
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